|My mother Maggie and her father Charles Seaverson.|
You see, my mom is not the typical mom. She was in and out of our lives growing up. I wrote her at least one a letter a week while she was in the Army, stationed all over Europe, Panama and California. She has done some hurtful things to my siblings and I. It still breaks me to go back and read the letters that I wrote to her when I was a little girl. Then as an adult my siblings and I always felt like we were on a constant suicide watch with my mom. She was a cutter since she was 12 and was in and out of hospitals for suicide attempts or for cutting herself to deep. She would drink and mix her medication and text me horrible things. Telling me to go kill myself and list out ways that I could easily take my life at home. Or she would tell me how she never wanted me. Words that cut deeper than the scars that covered her arms. I would still reach out to her and pray for her. I knew The Lord could change her heart. At times I would have to take breaks from her and her texts. They would trigger a deep hurt in me and I would need time and space to heal.
About two years ago I decided that I am going to accept my mom just the way she is. I was going to put aside all the hurt and forgive her. I called her up and I told her that I know she has had a rough life and I know she is hurting and that I want to forgive her and to love her where she is at. I did not want to bring up the past or question why she did the things she did. I wanted to be able to text her updates on her grandson Judah and I wanted to be in her life. This phone conversation started our texting that led to more phone conversations that eventually led my sister Rhonda to forgive my mom and for the first time since we were kids my mom had all of her children talking to her and encouraging her. The Lord blessed our relationship because we were willing to forgive my mom. She needed that forgiveness, she needed her children and she needed our encouragement. Little did I know that she was struggling from years of deep hurt, childhood and adult rape and abuse and debilitating PTSD from serving in the Panama War. She needed the forgiveness and unconditional love to help her heal from her past demons.
My mom died on Monday, February 9th and this is what I have to say about our time with her.
Maggie was a good mom, she was a mother to three beautiful children, Jessica, Rhonda and Timothy. They were her life. She did everything she could to raise and protect them. Even if it meant that she had to leave them for a bit because she felt that she was unsafe to be around them. Maggie loved taking her children on walks, she always sewed their Halloween and school play costumes. She attended every school play and always had a bouquet of flowers for the child right after the play. She would sing "you are my sunshine" to us on our birthdays and made the best homemade cakes and held the best birthday parties. She taught her children to love and to serve the less fortunate. She taught them to look deeper at the person who is discouraged and reach out to see why their heart hurts. She brought her children to nursing homes to read books, shelters to hand out food and even brought them to the circus to protest the abuse of the elephants. Maggie loved. She loved even when she was hurt. She would always open her home to a stranger, make hot chocolate for the people who removed the snow or leave an encouraging handmade bracelet for girls who looked like they needed encouragement. She would always take her daughters to volunteer at the Whitman Walker Clinic in DC or would sign us up for races for charity. Maggie loved to serve and love on others. Maggie also loved music, it spoke to her soul and she introduced her children to her favorite music. We will never forget how the songs made us feel when our mom would get lost in the lyrics. Fleetwood Mac, Tom Petty, Metalicca, AC/DC, The Beatles, The Cars and Alice in Chains all hold a special place in our heart and the lyrics conjure up memories of spending time with our mom. Maggie was always looking for something fun to do, an adventure whether it was driving up the Shenandoah Mountains, sky diving, taking the metro into DC for the Cherry Blossoms, going to a concert or taking her children with her when she got her earlobes stretched or another tattoo. Maggie was loyal. She loved her country, she fought and would die for her country. She made the best breakfast, had the best laugh, the cutest Louisiana accent, the best sense of humor, the perfect hands, the biggest heart, she raised her three children as a single mom for a few years and was great at it. I never gave up hope for the mom that she used to be. That it was somewhere hidden behind the years and layers of depression and abuse. I would see it every now and then and I saw it come out more these last two years. I miss her. If you knew Maggie, you would miss her as well. She left an imprint of her heart on every person she meets. She is part of my heart and it aches knowing that she is gone.
We had plans to see my mom this spring and for her to come up when my baby would arrive in September. She was excited to be a Grandmother again and we wanted to have her spend a month with us for her for her birthday present. After my mom passed I had an appointment with my midwife. They moved my due date from September, 11th to the 17th. My moms birthday is September, 17. She would have been tickled pink knowing that my baby could possibly share a birthday with her. I take it as a sign from The Lord letting me know that He is closer than the air I breath and is comforting the groaning's of my grieving heart.
I wish I could introduce everyone to my mother. I wish she was still around and I wish I could text her pictures of my son or of my sonograms. I wish I could tell her all the things I was afraid to tell her. I wish I could go back and get a clearer understanding of why she self injured. I wish I could ask her about the countless scars on her arms. I wish I could ask her why she has PTSD from the military. I wish I wasn't fearful to talk to her about it all. I wish I was braver.
I know my mom is in heaven. She is safe in the Lords arms, free from pain, free from her demons. I can just imagine her face lighting up as she looks down on her arms and no longer seeing the scars. I can see the tears streaming down her face as Jesus cradles her face in his hands.
I miss my mom.